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Lord St. Vincent caused it to be under- They did so; and this promising officer, in stood, that no Captain or Commander in the progress of his service, became Sir his fleet was to be off the quarterdeck or Jeremiah Coghlan, a post-captain. poop when any movement of the ship was But Lord St. Vincent did not stop here; made, night or day; and he generally set he thus wrote to Lord Spencer :blowings November night, with much rain; My Dear hot drouble your lordship with a
, the Secretary having heard the signal or- word more than is contained in the enclosed dered for “the fleet to tack in succession,' private letter from Sir Edward Pellew, on the hastened to prevent the Commander-in- subject of the intrepid Coghlan, except to say chief from going upon deck in such a (not out of ostentation, but to prevent the city, night, he being unwell. Finding his cot
or any body of merchants, making him a pres
ent or the same sort) that I gave him a sword empty, he took up his cloak and ran upon of one hundred guineas' value. deck. He was not there, and no one had
•Yours most faithfully, seen him : he had not passed the sentries ;
"ST. VINCENT.' the windows were closed; his clothes were on the chair. At last he threw up the gal- Having occasion to shift his flag into the ley window and stepped out; and there, Royal George, his attention was drawn to sure enough, at the further end of the gal- a remarkably fine boy, who, as he learned ley was the old Admiral, in his flannel from Captain Domett, wrote in the Secredressing-gown and cocked hat, watching tary's office, and was a nephew of Captain the movements of his fleet. The Secre- Wilmot, who was promoted by his lordship tary put on his cloak, and entreated him to for his gallant conduct when first lieutenant return into the cabin. 'Hush, sir, hush,' of the Seahorse, and who afterwards nobly said the Admiral; ‘I want to see how the fell in the breach at Acre. He called the evolution is performed in such a night as boy before him, asked whether his present this, and to know whether Jemmy' (Cap- employment was his own choice, or whether tain James Vashon, second astern of the he would prefer a more active life? The flag-ship) 'is on deck.' This was soon boy said his own wish was to be a midshipcertified by Jemmy's shrill voice giving the man; but his friends had no influence, nor usual warning—' Are you all ready, forward means to enable him to join a midshipman's there?' 'Ay,' said the old chief; 'that mess. The Secretary was instantly sent will do ;' and then he accompanied the for. 'Good Heavens, Tucker! here is the Secretary into the cabin.
nephew of poor David Wilmot, a common Stern disciplinarian as was St. Vincent, boy, and his parents cannot afford to clothe and suffering none of his orders and regu- him as a petty officer! Do you immediately lations to be disobeyed with impunity, there send into port, and equip him in every renever was a more considerate, humane, and spect for the quarterdeck.' No sooner said kind-hearted man, when a deserving object than done; and when the flag returned to was brought before him. An instance or the Ville de Paris, the boy was most agreeatwo may here be mentioned. Mr. Coghlan, bly surprised to find himself rated a midin the Viper cutter, captured the Cerbère shipman, with uniforms and a well stored by a dashing feat of gallantry. Lord St. chest. Mr. Tucker need not have apoloVincent, in writing to the Secretary of the gized to this gallant officer for saying, that Admiralty says, I did not think the gal- his whole life has been one of high credit lantry of Sir Edward Hamilton and Cap- to his patron ; that he has since behaved tain Patrick Campbell could have been ri- so gallantly upon every occasion, as to have valled, until I read the enclosed letter from promoted himself to the honor and rank of Sir Edward Pellew, relating the desperate a very distinguished post-captain. The service performed by acting Lieutenant apology should have been for concealing his Coghlan of the Viper cutter, which has name. filled me with pride and admiration.' .. When Lord St. Vincent promoted Cap'I am persuaded the Lords Commissioners tain Hill to the Megæra, the Captain had to of the Admiralty will do all in their power pay £50 for necessaries as valued by survey, to console him under his severe wounds, which he thought were not worth £10. and make a minute for his promotion the On going on board the Aag-ship, the Chief moment he is in a capacity to receive it.' accosted him thus : 'Hill, Bover says you
decline taking his necessaries.' 'Yes, my Rear-Admiral the Honorable G. Berkeley, whose lord, they are valued at £50, and not worth flag was in the Mars.
£10; I must certainly provide a fresh sup- / who had been made aware that, with very ply.'' But, poor Borer ! replied his lord- slender means, he was, by great personal ship, 'poor Bover! Hill you must take privations, nobly struggling to support a them from him. He then ordered his Sec- wife and a numerous young family. The retary to draw a check for £100, and give brig came in to be repaired, and was found it to the Captain to pay for them, whisper- in bad condition. His lordship observed ing in his ear— Hill, your father and I'If I send him to England now, he'll be were such friends that we once shared the paid off, and he has not wherewith to buy same purse;' this was a command admitting a gown for his wife and daughters.' He of no reply. One day the ship's company therefore ordered that, when repaired, the were ordered to bathe. On returning to brig should receive a complete refit and be their duty, Lord St. Vincent observed a fa- well stored-and, to shorten the story, this vorite seaman in tears, surrounded by a worthy officer found in the parcel containgroup of his comrades. He called his ing his orders for a cruise, £100, to proSecretary and said—There's my delight, vide for his private outfit. Roger Odell, in tears; go, see what's the On opening one of the letters from Lonmatter.' It turned out that Roger had don, brought in the cutter, Lord St. Vinjumped off the fore-yard with his trousers cent rang his bell violently for Mr. Tucker, on; and had forgotten that all he possessed who, on entering, was asked whether a in the world consisted of bank-notes, in one good dinner for forty or fifty could be manof the pockets. The water reduced them aged for that day. Receiving an answer in to a useless pulp. The Admiral went into the affirmative, he ordered signals for the his cabin, but presently returned, and or- fleet to lie-to, and to invite all the Admirals dered all hands to be turned up. Odell and Captains to dine, 'for,' he added, 'the was summoned, and the Admiral assuming cutter must return this evening. When one of his angry looks, thus addressed him, dinner was ended, he produced the letter, * Roger Odell, you are convicted, sir, by and apologizing for the short notice he had your own appearance, of tarnishing the given, said he was anxious to take the earBritish oak with tears ! What have you to liest opportunity of communicating to them say?' The poor fellow, overpowered by its subject matter. A Mr. Thomson wrote his distress, could only plead—'That he to inform him that, he had an establishhad lost all he had in the world, that he ment at Paddington for the orphan children had been many years saving it, and that he of seamen who had fallen in their country's could not help crying a little.' The Admi- service; that it had hitherto been supported ral, still preserving his look of displeasure, by voluntary contribution, but that the funds said—'The loss of money, sir, can never being nearly exhausted, he was compelled be an excuse to a British seamen for tears.' to solicit his lordship for a little assistance.' Then softening down his tones, he pro- He then reminded them that they all owed ceeded— Roger Odell, you are one of the their honors, their fortunes, and iheir rank best men in this ship; in my life I never to the devoted gallantry of the brave men saw a man behave better in battle than you, whose children were left destitute orphans. in the Victory, did in the action with the That, as he himself had benefited most by Spanish Aeet. To show, therefore, that these brave fellows, his own contribution your commander-in-chief will never pass ought to be the largest, but not regarded as over merit wheresoever he may find it - any example for others, each giving only there is your money, sir,' (giving him £70) what he could without inconvenience afford. -' but no more tears, mind; no more The youngest, as is the practice in Courtstears. The poor fellow, holding the notes martial, gave his name for the first contriin his hands, astonished and confused, but bution; and, when the paper came to Lord becoming sensible of the reality, said, in a St. Vincent, he wrote upon it one thousand hurried manner-' Thank ye, my lord, pounds. After this well-spent evening, thank ye!'-and dived down below to con- every one left the ship in good-humor, ceal a fresh gush of tears of gratitude. pleased with themselves and with the old
The merits of a commander of a small Commander-in-chief's deportment throughbrig, who, from unavoidable circumstances, out. The establishment continued to go had been kept out on a most trying service on under the humane superintendence of longer than usual, without starting a diffi- Mr. Thomson, till it attracted the attention culty or allowing a murmur to escape him, and support of Government, and became, were not unobserved by Lord St. Vincent; what it now is, the Naval Asylum.
Such was Lord St. Vincent—a stern and ted to Lord St. Vincent the King's comrigorous disciplinarian-but one who, on all mand, that the appointment of the first occasions, showed that he possessed a most Lord of the Admiralty should be offered to kind and generous disposition-ever ready him-a proposal which his lordship did and anxious to relieve distress, and to pro- not hesitate to entertain, having no objecmote, to the utmost of his power, a friend- tion to join the administration of all the less and deserving officer.
talents.' What he said to the King, and To the young Captains he was indul- what the King said to him, Mr. Tucker no gent, and always ready to offer them ad- doubt found recorded among his father's vice. In a letter to (Mr. Tucker papers. He told the King, that he should very provokingly and unnecessarily leaves make but a bad return for all the honors all the names blank) his lordship says—and favors which his majesty had most 'You are a young man, and rather overhasty graciously bestowed upon him, and very ill in applying for an investigation or trial;' discharge his duty, if he did not frankly and he admonishes him, that the mere sound and honestly tell his majesty, that, having of court-martial has the same pestilential served nearly half a century with the Roeffects as a suspicion of female chastity.' man Catholics, and seen them tried in all
He was not overpleased with some of the situations, it was his decided and conscienLords of Admiralty. In a letter to Mr. Ne- tious opinion, that they were entitled to be pean, he desires he will state to Lord placed upon the same footing in every reSpencer the impossibility of governing a spect as his majesty's Protestant subjects.' large fleet in times like these, while the And more to this effect, adding-That have subordinate officers are encouraged by pa- ing discharged his duty to his majesty and to trons of the Admiralty Board, whom I can himself
, he would also add, that his life and compare to nothing else but the orators in his utmost services were at his majesty's disancient Rome, who took up the cause of posal, and that he was ready to return to every discontented and factious person who the fleet, or to serve his majesty on shore, presented himself at the forum.' Again, or to retire into private life, as his majesty in writing to the same, he says—'I have might think proper to command.' When no objection to the correspondence of the he had finished, the King replied — Lord whole world being conveyed under cover St. Vincent, you have in this instance, as to me, with the exception of that which you have in every other, behaved like an passes between puisne lords of the Admi- honest, honorable man. Upon the question ralty and subordinates of the fleet under my of Catholic emancipation, my mind is made command.' And he carries his objections up, from which I never' (with great enerinto practical effect, by returning a letter gy) will depart; and, therefore, as it is to Sir Evan Nepean, saying—' He has for- not likely that it will be a matter agitated bidden surreptitious correspondence be- or discussed between us, I can see no reatween members of the Board of Admiralty son why you should not take the Admiraland the officers of the fleet, so derogatory ty, where I very much wish to see you, and from the discipline and subordination there to place the navy entirely in your hands.' of.' This was certainly taking high Thus was the lofty-minded and uncomground.
promising Whig, for once in his life, thrown In one of his letters he says—' First amongst a combination of Whigs and ToLords of the Admiralty, on their entrance ries. Mr. Grey's motion on the state of into office, resemble princes, are sur-| the nation, and Mr. Fox's denunciation of rounded by flatterers, and seldom learn the the inefficiency of Mr. Addington and his true character of their subordinates. I colleagues, must have been rather awkhave, to the utmost of my power, endeavors ward ; but then from the latter was excepted ed to put Lord Spencer in possession of the first Lord of the Admiralty. I do not every knowledge I have of men and things; think,' said Fox, it would be easy, if and I have gone further with him than I possible, to find a man in the whole comever did with any other man in office.' munity better suited, or more capable of the Little did the noble lord dream, when he high office he fills, than the distinguished penned this sentence, that he was himself person at the head of the Admiralty-I on the threshold of that envied station of mean the Earl St. Vincent.' Thus, it ap• Princes;' but so it was. On the disso- pears, that notwithstanding all the handlution of Mr. Pitt's Government, Mr. Ad- some things said of him, Lord St. Vincent dington, who succeeded him, communica- was early convinced, that “first Lords of the Admiralty, on entrance into office, dotiating for him the rank of “ earl," instead not exactly resemble princes, nor are they of “viscount,” as was intended after his vicsurrounded by flatterers, even among some tory of 14th February. My colleague,' he of their own friends, as he experienced on adds, having long found his official situahis first entrance, and also in the sequel.' tion irksome, in consequence of the footing He soon, in fact, discovered what his new on which he stood with some of the memposition really was ; that it was by no bers of the Board, obtained from Mr. Admeans an easy one, but, on the contrary, dington the appointment of Chief Secretary one that required greater temper and cir- in Ireland, with the rank of baronet.'* Mr. cumspection, to avoid giving umbrage to Marsden succeeded Nepean, though he at the multitude of applicants of all descrip- first declined the Secretaryship; and, he tions. Some of the duties and qualifica-says, opened his mind to Lord St. Vincent. tions of first Lords are thus stated by one He told him he was convinced, from expewho has had considerable experience : rience, of the tempers, ideas, and conduct
He should possess a sound judgment and of the professional members of the Board, great discretion-a patient and placid tem-|(Troubridge and Markham;) that he could per—a courteous deportment and civil de- not carry on the public business with them, meanor to all—an easy access to officers of with the least chance of satisfaction to his every rank—and a ready and obliging ac- own feelings it and he frankly expressed to knowledgment of all applications address- his lordship his conviction, that it was not ed to him in writing; for a kind manner of in his lordship's power to remedy it, as he receiving and replying to them, personally could not change their natures, or do withor by letter, goes a great way towards out them. Marsden contrived, however, softening the bitter pangs of disappoint- to keep on good terms with them, though ment, the unavoidable result of a non-com- Nepean could not. pliance with what is requested.'*
Lord St. Vincent soon discovered that the How far Lord St. Vincent's demeanor Admiralty presented no 'bed of roses' 10 corresponded with this, in his reception of repose upon. It was not a situation he had officers, we have no means of knowing ; but sought, or one that he ever appeared anxious his letters of refusal are generally expressed to retain. Perhaps he did not find himself exin courteous terms, and with much tact. actly suited for it. What sort of figure I His Board, however, was certainly unpopu- sball make,' (he writes to Lord Keith,) lar in the naval service, both ashore and will be seen. I have known many a good afloat; more so, it would appear, from the admiral make a wretched first Lord of the temper of the two professional lords, (the Admiralty. I will, however, support the other three being ciphers,) than from any Commander-in-chief upon all occasions, conduct of his own. With Sir Thomas and prohibit any intrigue against them in Troubridge he had no acquaintance but this office. He had long conceived a what was gained from their professional in- most unfavorable opinion of the Navy tercourse in the Mediterranean ; but he Board, and of the abuses committed in the very soon proved his eminent qualities, and dockyards. 'I hope,' he says to Mr. the beautiful description he gave of them Thomas Grenville, you will be able to fully warranted his nomination as a senior brush these spiders from the Navy Board.' or advising lord of the Chief— He is the This, if meant personally to the members ablest adviser, and best executive officer in of the board, is too strongly expressed; the the British navy, with honor and courage system undoubtedly was bad, but there bright as his sword.' Of Markham he were among the Commissioners many excould not have known much professionally, cellent, intelligent, and honest men. Need but speaks highly of him. Lord St. Vin- we mention the name of Sir Andrew Hamcent," Mr. Marsden says, during the mond, or of Admiral Sir Byam Martin, course of his naval administration, be-than whom a better officer or a more corhaved to me with uniform attention and po-rect man does not exist ? liteness; but my colleague Nepean could not
Whether Lord St. Vincent was, in this say the same thing, although he had been respect, right or wrong, he had scarcely an old connexion (follower as the naval got into his seat when he determined to term is) of Sir John Jervis, and had taken
Brief Memoir of the Life and Writings of Mr. a zealous part with the minister in nego- Marsden-written by himself, and printed by his
widow. * Sir John Barrow's Life of Earl Howe.
# Marsden's Memoirs.
probe the alleged abuses to the quick; and of Plymouth dockyard. The mutinous for this purpose he brought before the Cab- spirit of the shipwrights there he had preinet the plan of a searching investigation, viously subdued. They had sent up to the by means of a commission, which he named Admiralty a set of delegates, (a name syThe Commission of Naval Inquiry,' but nonymous, in his lordship's opinion, with which his opponents called the 'Naval In- rebels or mutineers,) who were expected to quisition.' Mr. Addington from the first extort from the Board, just then pressed for opposed it, and then rejected it altogether. an increase of ships, a compliance with sevHis Lordship, however, was firm, and de- eral exorbitant demands—such as Lord St. clared, 'No power short of what I demand Vincent denounced as not merely remoncan search such abuses as I denounce; strances, but insubordination, which he deand no honest or faithful servant can have termined, with his usual firmness, at once aught to fear;' and he made it the sine qua to punish. These gentlemen delegates non of his remaining in the Cabinet. They were thunderstruck on being informed that at length yielded, and the Commission of the Board had ordered they should be turned Naval Inquiry,' with certain modifications, out of the Admiralty yard into the street, was instituted by act of Parliament. Mr. and that every man of them was discharged Secretary Tucker dined with Lord St. Vin- from the service. cent the day it had been submitted to the But these proceedings, however expedie Cabinet; when the dinner party was break-ent, must have been most annoying to Lord ing up, Lord St. Vincent said, “ Tucker, St. Vincent, and must have proved to him stay !' and then added, excepting my how very unlike · Princes' were first Lords Lord Chancellor, the whole Cabinet has of the Admiralty. All the naval departmutinied to-day. My Commission is re- ments, from the Navy Board (the highest) jected; but,' bending his fist, while his to the lowest, were in hostility to his countenance personified his invincible firm- Board ; and it was not appeased by the ness, we'll read them a lesson out of the Earl's appointing his private Secretary a articles of war to-morrow, sir !' He then commissioner of the navy, with a seat at declared that he would not again sit on the the board in Somerset House-a very ministerial bench in the House of Lords, proper appointment of a fit and able man, till he had carried his point.
had it proceeded from any other quarter. Fourteen or fifteen large folio volumes The Board was much censured by the being published at the time, it was hardly public for the kind of preparation made necessary or expedient for our biographers against the threatened invasion of England to go into lengthened details of a measure from Boulogne, and for appointing that productive of little or no interest or impor- bravest of the brave,' Nelson, to the comiance, unless a harassing and expensive mand of a service so unworthy of him ;state prosecution of the late Lord Melville for establishing the sea fencibles ; building may have been
so considered; which, Martello towers; sinking stone vessels, though it failed of conviction, yet succeeded&c.; and Mr. Pitt brought forward, in the in utterly destroying his utility as a states- House of Commons, various charges of
while it deprived Mr. Pitt of an able mismanagement in the naval service. coadjutor
motion was negatived; but Mr. AddingThe next step taken by his lordship was ton's administration had become so unpopa personal visitation, by himself and his ular, that the Whigs united with Mr. Pitt Board, to the dockyards; the main object against it; and Mr. Fox's motion on the being, as Marsden says, 'to find grounds national defence being lost only by a small for delinquencies presumed in the first in- minority, Mr. Addington's Cabinet resigned. stance.'--' At Deptford,' he says,
On the whole, Lord St. Vincent's adminperienced much abuse from the enraged istration was not popular. We are strongly families of the workmen discharged, or re- disposed to believe that it was mainly owduced in their allowances, and with some ing to two circumstances ;-the one an difficulty escaped from worse treatment.' honest and ardent desire to put an end to In point of fact they did not escape; for those gross and avowed abuses, which perwe know, from the same authority, that the vaded the whole civil departments of the whole Board was pelted along the street of naval service—an attempt which brought Deptford with mud and stones, from the upon him a violent hostility, not only from moment they passed the dock gates. the parties themselves, but from their
No murmurs were heard at the visitation friends and connexions; the other, a de